A's 2013 roster breakdown: First base

December 1, 2012, 11:07 pm
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Editor's note: This is the fifth installment of the Oakland A's position-by-position offseason breakdown, teeing up the team's options for the 2013 season.It took them quite a while, but the A's have finally found that slugging first baseman they have so desperately needed. Only it's two guys that ended up combining to have one monster season. Brandon Moss and Chris Carter became the first base platoon in late June and A's manager Bob Melvin rode the hot hand and the splits to a solve the club's seemingly eternal issue at first base. Moss and Carter combined to hit 27 home runs at first base in 110 games. Together they totaled 66 RBIs while manning first. If you add in the stats from when they played DH or the outfield, they combined to hit 37 dingers and drive in 91 runs. That's more home runs than Prince Fielder, Albert Pujols, Adrian Beltre, Mark Trumbo or Paul Konerko hit. Imagine what they could both do in a full season. The MossCarter platoon allows the A's to use the hot hand. If one gets hot, he starts daily until he cools off. Meanwhile, the other guy is used as a powerful pinch hitter. The platoon lets Melvin play to their strengths. When combined, Moss and Carter become a potent force. The only thing the two sluggers don't do well is play defense. Moss made eight errors at first base and Carter committed six fielding mistakes. If the A's can find a way to roster a capable glove to take over in the late innings they could create a juggernaut Franken-first-baseman. Daric Barton could be that guy, but the A's likely won't have room to put him on the 25-man roster just to fill in defensively. Barton will have to prove he can do a lot more than just play defense to earn a roster spot.
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Here in 2013:Brandon Moss
Chris Carter
Daric Barton
Free Agents:NoneBiggest Question:Can a full year of Melvin's MossCarter platoon take the A's to the next level? Analyst's Take -- Shooty Babitt:"I still think they will want to upgrade there defensively. Both of them will be putting an extreme amount of work in during spring training to become better defensively. I still believe Chris Carter is a DH. He'll make a good play but then he'll have difficulty on a routine play that can cost you the game. In Oakland, as long as that foul territory is as big as it is, you need to have a guy that can knock down a ball."Best Available (and possibly affordable)Lance Berkman, 36
Carlos Pena, 35
James Loney, 29
Jason Giambi, 42
Casey Kotchman, 30
Adam LaRoche, 33
Eric Hinske, 35
Carlos Lee, 37
Casey McGehee, 30
Aubrey Huff, 36

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